Healthy, homemade Christmas gift ideas

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Are you looking at your list of loved ones this year, wondering how you'll manage all those people? Has the thought of making homemade gifts crossed your mind? How about something from your kitchen that is super healthy and yummy that you can share with them?

I have been chatting with my friend Lexie of Lexie's Kitchen about doing a joint post. Now, Lexie is marvellously busy with an initiative called Share Our Holiday Table—a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. This event is being hosted by Share Our Strength®—a national organization that works hard to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Check out Share our Strength and consider making a donation to children in need. 

So, on behalf of both of us, I want to highlight a few things I think would make great gifts this season:

1- Lexie's chili seasoning: Imagine buying bulk spices and lining up a few jars on your counter, measuring out the ingredients into each one. It'd be kind of like a little assembly line. Tag each one with a small piece of cardstock that includes her fabulous chili recipe. That's an instant dinner idea for the lucky recipient! 

2- Roasting spice rub: I stumbled across the recipe I talked about in my roasted organic chicken post and we loved it so much, we made the rub in mass quantities for use on anything roasted. Do you have any idea how delicious brussel sprouts are when they're roasted in the oven with this spice? Mr. Pick-it-up and I actually fight over brussel sprouts. I'm not kidding. So, I've worked out the math, and here's how to make enough for a lovely little jar full (the small mason jars- about 1/2 the regular jam-jar size): 

1/4 cup SEA SALT (the chunky stuff)
3 tablespoons COCONUT SUGAR
1.5 teaspoons GROUND CLOVES
1.5 teaspoons GROUND ALLSPICE
1.5 teaspoons GROUND NUTMEG
1.5 teaspoons GROUND CINNAMON

While I look at that 1/4 cup of salt and think "woah", it's actually significantly less than the recipe calls for. Plus you're only using a tsp or two when you make anything roasted. :)

3- COOKIES! Who would turn down a nice little tin of homemade cookies?? I recently made these Scandinavian thumbprint cookies from the Spunky Coconut. They were really nice, and easy to make. They are kind of cake-like, with that yummy blob of jam in the middle. Mmmmm. Plus when you give something that does NOT have refined flours or sugars, you cannot be held responsible for your gift-ee's holiday bloat. :) That's guilt-free gifting, folks! You might also try Double dark chocolate chip cookies (dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free).

4- And last but not least, if your beloveds are into cosmetics of a more natural style, why not treat them to a jar of Lexie's homemade natural deodorant? It's funny, I've been sitting on this post for a few days and Lex beat me to it. Check out her most recent post for more information on this pretty little gift. :) 

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far. We're in full swing here; not much opportunity to be a scrooge when the snow is falling in big fluffy clumps outside and we're seeing even more of our favourite people. If you're looking for a great treat to make at home, incidentally, I made these raw vegan milky way bars last week. They were KILLER!!!! The kids think they're real chocolate bars (though mine look nothing like the ones in this picture, let's be honest). I wouldn't advise making these for a gift because they get pretty drippy when they've been out of the freezer for a few minutes. Logistically, it wouldn't work out well. A note on the recipe: I found that I had way too much chocolate and caramel for the amount of base I made. I would advise increasing the amounts in the nougat portion by 1/3 the recipe so that it all balances out. Notice I didn't suggest reducing the amount of chocolate and caramel because hey- that's just crazy talk...




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